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Top Home Theater Desktops
Home Theater desktops are PC systems optimised to playing, converting and streaming media across a network.
Typically stored in an office or on a desk within your typical home theater area, such devices are vital for managing and storing media such as videos, mp3s and pictures. You might also opt to take advantage of a system with vast storage to use a lossless sound format such as FLAC (free lossless audio codec) for optimum sound quality.
Several manufacturers provide quality home theatre desktops – if you’re not opting to build your own system, take a look at these home theatre desktop PCs from HP, Dell and Sony.
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HP Pavilion P6230F
Following the success of the older HP Pavilion media centres, the computing and printing giant have issued a new range of PCs with all of the same multimedia capabilities while dropping the “media centre" label.
Featuring ATI RadeonTM HD 4200 integrated graphics, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM and a 2.6 GHz AMD Phenom II X4 810 CPU – not to mention an immense 750GB of storage – the HP Pavilion P6230F can be easily setup as a home theater desktop utilizing the new version of Windows Media Player 11 found in Windows 7 Home Premium and the onboard wireless network card.
Available at around $800 (see more on Amazon) these PCs are a great solution to any desktop PC/home theater requirement.
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Dell Studio XPS 9000
With both included and optional extras designed to enhance your home entertainment experience, the Dell Studio XPS 9000 features a choice of Intel Core i7 processors and a maximum of 24 GB DDR3 superfast tri-channel RAM.
With 7.1 channel high definition audio, a choice of nVidia or ATI graphics HD options and Blu-ray disc drive and up to 4.5TB of HDD storage on offer, the Dell Studio XPS 9000 also features a 17 in 1 card reader.
Along with the on board wireless networking option, the HDMI connector completes this superb desktop, a perfect choice for anyone requiring a combined desktop computing and home theatre solution.
This PC – perfect for home theatre desktop requirements – is available from www.dell.com from $899.
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Sony VAIO VGC-RT100Y
With a 2.3GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor, 4GB RAM, integrated TV tuner and 1TB HDD, this Sony VAIO features a Blu-ray disc drive (suitable for burning CD, DVD and BD) and sits upon any surface with all of the grace of a quality 1920 x 1200 LCD TV, with superb graphics provide by the nVidia GeForce 9600M GT chip.
Only the keyboard might reveal that this is a high quality, compact and fit for purpose home theater desktop, which comes with HDMI in and out ports for adding high definition sources or outputting the display to a different HDTV.
The quality speaks for itself with this device – the ultimate integrated home theatre desktop solution, the Sony VAIO VGC-RT100Y retails from $2499 (see PCWorld.com for more).